Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Your thoughts on paint brands, a paint is a paint of course of course

Hello Mr Ed here....... what paints do you use?

At risk of posting highly flammable topic I want to gauge the general consensus regarding paint quality nowadays, what has prompted this post? .....well my dissapointment with some brands (or particular colours within a range) of paints in recent years, am I alone, what do you think?

Most of you probably have a selection of brands as I do and maybe like me you may have multiple generations of a particular brand. It is claimed, rightly or wrongly, that certain brands suit particular styles of painting so perhaps you may have an opinion regarding suitability of brands based on this assumption. There is a lot of hearsay and Chinese whispers within the hobby regarding formulations of paint brands which promotes speculation on their quality and usefulness, I'm really more interested in personal experiences not the "I was talking to someone who new a bloke that was mates with a guy that worked for........"

I'm interested in hearing/reading what your thoughts are regardless of your experience, style and what you paint for (table top, display etc) if I can decode a general trend I will try to write up your combined thoughts as an publishable article.

Let me provide a bit of background as to my own paint collection. No matter what the age if the paint is still viable and behaves as it did when I first purchased it I still own it, this makes my paint collection look a little like a museum, I have no shame. Big old glass jars, tiny 80's Humbrol white plastic pots and tinned enamels, every type of citadel pot, Ral Partha/AD&D fat screw tops etc. Of course many more have been tossed than survived the years as the climate isn't kind to paints that haven't been carefully watched what was liquid last week might well be hard as rock the next. As far as style goes, well to be honest, for many years it has revolved around painting 15mm historical armies (lots of figures) so layered dry brushing was the most effective way for me to produce good results on small miniatures in quantity although generals or personality figures would get thorough treatment with carefully layered highlights and shading. The last year 18 months has seen me move to 25-32mm with an eye to eventually painting display miniatures mostly utilizing dry layering and if I'm feeling bold or confident I use the transparency (well diluted) style. Surprisingly enough it is the transperency style and a very old Humbrol acrylic which started me thinking, I found I was having enormous trouble getting the right result with GW and Reaper (both new pots) paints and as a last resort went to an old Humbrol, in good condition and close to the right shade, success. No plasticky (it's a word) finish, no shiny shiny. no breaking down of previous layers, no chalkiness, in short other than slightly courser pigments a nice even matt finish. Now no doubt some of you may be thinking "hey Paint Pig you like a shiny finish to your miniatures" too true, but not half way through the paint job. The plastic shiny finish some brands leave make it very difficult to add subsequent washes or layers and quickly lead you down a slippery slope.

To avoid overly long comments you may send your thoughts via email and I will post them in entirety or relevant sections on the blog. Please dont use this as an opportunity to overtly diss a particular brand, constructive useful criticism or praise works best.

thanks for reading


  1. I prefer the Vallejo model colors range and would say that represents about 70% of the total paint collection and really 90% of the paint I regularly use. I've never really had any problems with the paint quality. The only minor drawback is the eye dropper bottle can clog but that is a rare occurrence and not really a "paint quality thing"

    I use cheap craft paints (Apple Barrel from Michaels or Walmart) large large scale items like terrain.

    Lastly, I'm a big fan of the GW washes and use those extensively.


  2. Most of paint is Vallejo. But I own all sorts. If I spot a colour that suits me I will buy it.

  3. I also use Vallejo paints with a few Citadel and games workshop washes

  4. I use the following:-

    Humbrol, for base undercoat on metals.

    Vallejo - Model Colour for most others.
    Andrea Color - seem more highly pigmentede than Vallejo, and their 6 colour paint sets (RED, BLUE , WHITE etc)are really great to use. Also use thier inks for washes,

    Oils , for Horse Colours and for some washes

    I use ROSE paint powders for bright mettalics (pale gold, rich gold - silver) mixed with Vallejo thinners. For other metallics i use Vallejo airbrush paints, as thinner and run on the brush better.

    cheers Dave


Good, bad or otherwise I love to hear what you think..... mostly